Green Sand Beach

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The Big Island of Hawaii is known for a lot of things… It is home to one of the world’s most active volcanoes, its southernmost point is the the southernmost point of the whole U.S., it is the biggest island in the U.S., and it is bigger than all the other Hawaiian island combined!

But aside from all these fun facts, the Big Island has something that is truly amazing – it is home to one of only two Green Sand Beaches in the whole world!

Green Sand Beach [as known as “Papakōlea Beach” or “Mahana Beach”] is located near South Point [the southernmost point in the U.S.] so definitely make a day out of visiting both!  Green Sand Beach is really interesting to experience…

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Green Sand Beach:

Why So Green
The beach is green from a particular mineral located under the water just offshore: olivine… it’s composed of a semi-precious stone called “peridot”.

Getting There
  You’ll have to use a 4-Wheel Drive SUV because there is no road – just sand and dirt… OR, you can do as I and many others do: hike it!  …bring plenty of water!


Where’s the Other Green Sand Beach?  Apparently, the other green sand can be found in the Galapagos Islands…


  1. We were there in 2012. Absolutely beautiful. We drove as far as we could, then parked and walked. I would recommend could walking shoes. My daughter wore flip flops and her feet were a little tender by the time we got back to our car. But it was totally worth it.

  2. This looks SO cool! We’ll be headed to Hawaii this summer and we are really looking forward to seeing the different beaches. How did you get there? Did you need a 4 wheel drive rental? Which company did you use?

    1. Hey Natalie! Actually, I just hitchhiked! I hitchhiked all over Hawaii =) I got rides as far as I could to the beach, and then just walked in. There were a few 4-wheel-drive SUVs passing by, but a lot got stuck and had a difficult time – walking almost seemed to be faster than some, haha, but it was a hike to get there. I think maybe about an hour or so of walking (definitely not 10 minutes).

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